Invitation to explore East Devon’s wild side

Thursday 13th July 2017

Pond dipping at Bystock PoolsPond dipping activity at DWT's Bystock

Families are being invited to make a wild start to their summer holidays by joining Devon Wildlife Trust at their annual family event, Bystock Discovery Day.

Kicking off at 11am on July 25, the summer event will allow children to discover what wildlife wonders live at Bystock by having a go at pond dipping at the popular nature reserve.

As well as activities for children, Devon Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers will be offering guided walks around the reserve, spotting birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other wildlife that makes a home at Bystock. Tours will be taking place at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm.

Celebrating the Pebblebed Heaths

The discovery day celebrates one of East Devon’s most loved nature reserves, Bystock Pools near Exmouth. The event is part of Heath Week, an annual celebration of the Pebblebed Heaths that aims to get the residents of East Devon to recognise and embrace the amazing wildlife on their doorstep.

Bystock nature reserve has 67 acres of flower-filled meadows, mature woodland, colourful heathland and tranquil ponds. The nature reserve is home to a dazzling variety of butterflies including rare species such as the silver-studded blue.

A haven for bats, dormice and heathland birds such as nightjar, Bystock is also one of the best places in Devon to spot the magical night time illuminations of glow worms.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Jan Coman said:

Bystock Pools open day“We’re thrilled to invite the local community once again to this special nature reserve for our annual Bystock Discovery Day! It’s set to be a fantastic event for all the family, with pond dipping, bug hunting, wildlife trails, wild craft and storytelling – there’s something for everyone.

“Bystock Discovery Day is also a brilliant opportunity for people to learn about Bystock from our nature reserves officer and DWT local group volunteers who manage this reserve on a weekly basis.”

Refreshments will be on sale throughout the event, offering drinks and delicious cakes. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic and enjoy their lunch in the reserve’s meadow. 

There is a £5 charge per car, the charity is asking that visitors bring cash on the day. Donations are welcome for the activities running throughout the day. The event is kindly being supported by South West Water.

How to get there

You can see a map of Bystock and find directions to the nature reserve by visiting Heading from Exmouth, drive up Hulham Road onto the B3179 and take the road immediately opposite. Drive past Pyne Ridge car park and Wrights Lane until you see a Devon Wildlife Trust sign. The nature reserve is on the right.

For more information about Bystock Pools nature reserve visit For more information about Heath Week visit